Friday, September 7, 2012

How we do Cloth

A friend asked me recently about cloth-diapering and I realized it's not something I've addressed in detail on my Blog. Oops! We love being a cloth-diapering family! Ask us anything!

Here are some of the basics for someone just starting out, or those of you blog-stalking our family :)

Why cloth?
Our answer to this question is an easy one: money! We found out we were having twins and it wasn't long after that before the reality of having two babies set in, we needed to save every penny we could. The total cost for 40 Fuzzibunz diapers (which is what we have) is about $900. It sounds steep but compared to the cost of disposables for the life of a toddler until they potty train, it's rather minimal.
Oh yeah, it makes their bums super cute, too!

Don't they stink?
Mmm yes, sometimes... as do disposable diapers. Sometimes a cloth diaper can get an ammonia build-up which makes it "sting the nostrils" Anchorman, anyone? but that's an easy fix. When we wash our diapers we toss in about a cup of distilled white vinegar (I honestly have no idea if it has to be distilled, that's just what we buy) and it kills any smell. Of course when your child's butt explodes with poop it doesn't smell good either but if you figure out a way to fix that one please let me know!

How do you keep them clean?
To understand this we start from the beginning: a diaper has been dirtied. Okay, then we take it off and pull out the liner and plop the liner into a 5 gallon bucket (with lid) that we keep in the bathroom. If there's no poop, the shell goes in, too. If there is poop, we use a "mini shower" hand-held sprayer to rinse it down the toilet. The sprayer attaches easily to the toilet and has an on/off switch. Once we've rinsed the shell we just plop it in the bucket with everything else and replace the lid.

When the bucket is full, or we just want to wash diapers, we carry the bucket to our TOP LOADER washing machine (using lots of water is key to getting them clean, front loaders are conservative with water making them less desirable for cloth). Dump in the entire bucket and do this:

HOT rinse cycle
COLD wash cycle with homemade laundry detergent and 1 cup of distilled white vinegar (if they're funky)
DRY on low heat, or line-dry in the sun, or hang to dry indoors
line drying in the sun has a nice, natural bleaching effect

How do you travel with cloth?
We have a wet bag that travels with us. When there's a poopy diaper on-the-go the diaper and the wipes all get thrown in the bag and we deal with it when we get home. The inner lining of the wet bag keeps the diapers in place and prevents them from rolling around and smearing poo all over.

Do they work overnight?
Yes and no. When our boys were little bitty there fuzzibunz, although one size diapers, were big on them. At five and six pounds they were swimming. We found ourselves changing diapers and clothes multiple times every night and therefore decided to use disposable diapers through the night. Occasionally we double up the liners in their overnight diapers and it works well, but that much pee built up overnight smells awful in the morning.

Two months old and still swimming in their
Fuzzibunz diapers, but wearing 'em like champs!
[Tay, Day]

How many should I buy?
That really depends on how often you want to do diapers. On the plus side the more diapers you have the less laundry you have to do. On the down side, the longer you go between washes, the more pungent they become. We have 40 for our three kids and that seems to last us two full days +/-.
This is our stash, 40 deep

What about disposables?
Like I mentioned before, we do typically use disposables in the night. Also, there are few creams recommended for use with cloth diapers and so if we encounter a diaper rash we use disposables with butt cream.

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